Picture
Passengers on Europe’s biggest airline may soon need to cross their legs – or queue to use one toilet between more than 200 people. Ryanair has dropped its plan to charge passengers for using on-board toilets, but is pressing ahead with proposals to remove two of the three lavatories on each plane and replace them with seats.

The airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, told The Independent “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers” – cutting £2 from a typical £40 ticket.

The airline, which will carry 75 million passengers this year, has only one aircraft type: the Boeing 737-800. Ryanair has installed 189 seats on each plane, the maximum allowed under current rules.

“We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights”, said Mr O’Leary. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”



The aircraft manufacturer gave a guarded response. A spokesman at Boeing HQ in Seattle said “We're always listening to what our customers need but don't discuss those conversations or any business decisions.”

There is no legal stipulation for an airline to provide toilets on its aircraft. Ryanair’s longest UK route is from Rhodes to Liverpool, taking 4 hours 25 minutes. Initially, though, higher-capacity aircraft would be deployed on shorter routes, such as Stansted to Dublin or Edinburgh to Bremen.

The prospect of only one toilet being shared by 195 passengers and six crew caused alarmed in the travel industry. A spokesman for Abta, the travel association, said “We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order or the annoyance of queuing if someone has air sickness in one of the cubicles. This move could be a step too far in Ryanair’s on-going mission to provide a totally no-frills service.”

But the aviation consultant John Strickland said the soaring cost of oil could accelerate the process: “High fuel prices are making it difficult for even Ryanair to keep fares low, so anything which helps them to reduce costs is essential. Having six more seats on the aircraft would not require more cabin crew and would reduce cost per seat.”

The controversial Ryanair boss also insisted that the airline will continue as before, whatever the outcome of an investigation into fees for debit and credit cards. At present the airline charges an “administration fee” of £6 per person per flight, avoidable only by paying with Ryanair’s “Cash Passport”.

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating a “super-complaint” by the Consumers’ Association into charges by low-cost airlines.

The OFT says “Retailers should make headline prices meaningful for comparison purposes by not imposing surcharges for debit cards, which we consider are currently the standard online payment mechanism”. Asked whether a £40 fare to Spain would be shown as £46, to take account of the £6 charge for paying with debit or credit cards, Mr O’Leary said “It will be shown as £40 with a big asterisk: ‘Pay by the Ryanair Cash Passport’. There’s the impression created abroad that it would be an end of credit and debit fees, or Ryanair’s admin fees. There won’t be any change whatsoever.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/ryanair-unveils-its-latest-plan-to-save-money-remove-toilets-from-the-plane-2369232.html

Mr King's Question: Do you think Ryanair is risking losing customers by concentrating solely on cutting costs and maximising their profits?

Jason Lam
3/27/2012 01:32:46 pm

I personally agree with that , they are risking losing the customers by concentrating solely on cutting costs and maximising their profits , actually, the main think is toilet is the most inportant things in any business because anyone want to use it for what moment people want to go. However they cutting the number of toilet which is the crazy imageination. For economic term , toilet is inelastic which means that when a huge change in price , people won't reduce or change to use it , because they can't find the substites. So, why they want to cut the number of toilet? I can't know any reason for the moving. For the business term , reduce the number of toilet which makes queue to use one toilet between more than 200 people . what are the huge number with that , which means the customer services is bad, this means that their customer will likely not come back again. This means that profit will be reduced by the bad customer serices. Also , their lower quality which means that they can't charge higher price from their customer which means that the lower profit margin and the margin of safety because of the quantity of customer may likely reducing and the when the price going up people will not go back again.

Reply
Chantelle
4/4/2012 08:20:51 am

I strongly agree with this as it will cause a seriouos problem of how inconvenient it is if there only a toilet on a plane for all the passengers. A spokesman at Boeing HQ in Seattle said “We're always listening to what our customers need but don't discuss those conversations or any business decisions.” That is mean Ryanair don't even consider the needs and wants of passengers on board, even though it is a short-haul flights, but how about the annoyance of queuing and if someone has air sickness? It may link to losing customers as Ryanair don't respect their passengers. The airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary said they very rarely use all three toilets, however it need money to make any change on the plane such as cutting £2 from a typical £40 and remove toilets on board. So it can not actually maximize the profit by cutting down the toilets in order to replace it with seats. Its not worthwhile of charge passengers for using on-board toilets, because of how inconvenient it will be by sharing a toilet of nearly 200 people and it can not make sure how long will they take to use the toilet. Therefore, they are face a problems of losing customers.

Reply
Aaron Chan
4/11/2012 06:51:17 am

i agree with this,this is a quite stupid idea to reduce and cut cost,because some of their customers may have air sickness and really need a toilet. this a impossible that a plane has only one toilet even though short distance of flight. A spokesman at Boeing HQ in Seattle said “We're always listening to what our customers need but don't discuss those conversations or any business decisions. the customer is bad if he consider reduce cost by remove the toilet,the customer may not travel you anymore and go to your competitors because it is unconvenice that many people sharing only one toilet and we can't estimate that how long they are using the toilet. so Ryanair is risking losing customers by concentrating solely on cutting costs and maximising their profits,because it may reduce cusomer service and quantity.


Reply



Leave a Reply.